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President Barack Obama speaks as supporters President Barack Obama speaks as supporters applaud behind him at a campaign event at Mentor High School on Saturday.
President Barack Obama speaks as supporters applaud behind him at a campaign event at Mentor High School on Saturday.
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Published: Saturday, 11/3/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

President Obama rallied supporters in northeast Ohio

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

MENTOR, Ohio - President Barack Obama rallied supporters in northeast Ohio today vowing not to give up fighting for the middle class.

Reprising the same basic speech that he gave the day earlier in Hilliard, Springfield, and Lima, Ohio, Mr. Obama thundered to a cheering crowd that he was elected four years ago to change America's politics.

"I hope you aren't weary, I hope you still got some fight left in you. The folks at the very top of this country, they don't need a champion in Washington. They already have a seat at the table," Mr. Obama said. He said he would seek bipartisan solutions, but not if the price is deferring to special interests.

"If the price of peace in Washington is cutting deals that will end up kicking students off financial aid, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood, or letting insurance companies discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, or eliminating health care for millions...., that's not a price I'll pay," he said.

"This is not an abstract debate. We have tried our ideas and they work," he said. "We have tried their ideas and they don't work."

"After all we've been through together we can't give up on it now," Mr. Obama said. He said the change he envisions includes everybody getting a shot at a great education, and recruiting 100,000 math and science teachers. "Don't tell me hiring more teachers won't help grow this economy," he said.

"We know this country can't thrive, can't succeed without a growing, strong middle class. America is always at its best when everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, and everybody's playing by the same rules," he said.

Obama campaign organizers said there were 4,010 in the high school gym and in an overflow space. Mr. Obama spoke briefly in person to the overflow crowd.

"I'm confident we're going to win but only if you guys vote," he told them, before entering the gym.

His Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigned in New Hampshire and is due back in Ohio Sunday, as is President Obama, and both are to campaign Monday afternoon in the Columbus area.

“With no record to run on and no vision for the future, President Obama is resorting to false, discredited attacks and a cynical closing message urging voters to choose ‘revenge,'" said Chris Maloney, Romney Campaign Spokesman. "Mitt Romney wants to bring people together and he wants Ohioans to vote for love of country. He will deliver real change for a real recovery, creating 12 million new jobs with rising take-home pay and a better future for all Americans.”

Also campaigning today in Ohio for President Obama's re-election is First Lady Michelle Obama, in Gambier and Oxford. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, speaks tonight in Parma.

Mr. Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, rallied supporters at Marietta College this morning.

In Mentor, Mr. Obama attacked Mr. Romney for radio and TV ads that imply - over the objections of General Motors and Chrysler - that GM and Chrysler are planning to move jobs to China.

"I understand Governor Romney has had a tough time here in Ohio because he was against saving the auto industry. It's hard to run away from that position when you're on videotape saying, let's let Detroit go bankrupt," Mr. Obama said.

"This raises an essential part of what your choice is all about. When you elect a president you don't know what kind of emergencies you may have, what problems he or she may have to deal with. But you do want to be able to trust your president," Mr. Obama said.

“With no record to run on and no vision for the future, President Obama is resorting to false, discredited attacks and a cynical closing message urging voters to choose ‘revenge,'" said Chris Maloney, Romney Campaign Spokesman. "Mitt Romney wants to bring people together and he wants Ohioans to vote for love of country. He will deliver real change for a real recovery, creating 12 million new jobs with rising take-home pay and a better future for all Americans.”

Outside the rally as crowds were arriving in this suburban Cleveland city in Lake County, Mentor residents real estate broker Gregg Boehlefeld, 57, and retired union newspaper printer Tom Lorek, 73, manned a golf cart with a sign decrying Mr. Obama as "anti-Catholic" and "pro-abortion." Others held signs protesting the deaths of American diplomatic staff in Benghazi.

"We're just voicing our opinion. I'm not happy with the way the country's going," Mr. Lorek said. "I'm disappointed. Six trillion dollars - I think Mickey Mouse could have done the job this guy's done."

Obama supporter Alexandra Easton, 75, a retired accounting bookkeeper from nearby Willoughby Hills, who stood in line hoping to get inside the rally, disagreed with those claims.

"The Republicans would have done the same thing," she said of the deficit spending. "They couldn't prevent the recession; how could they fix it? What would they have done, lower taxes for the wealthy? That didn't work."

Leigh Perrino, 30, an expectant mother due to deliver in five weeks, who was also in line to hear Mr. Obama, said he is not anti-Catholic.

"If you read the Catholic social doctrine, Christianity and Catholicism are about taking care of people," she said. "There are a lot of Catholics that support Obama."

Contact Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.



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